Apple Maps is close to rivaling Google Maps with these features
By Molly Sequin of Mashable
Apple Maps isn’t the first app most people are clamoring for when they’re lost on a road trip. It’s actually one of the first apps I deleted when iOS finally let you get rid of native iPhone apps.
But since the iOS 10 update, there are some features that can make Apple Maps an app you’d want to use. Here’s why you might want to consider keeping it around.
Travel notifications for events
Apple cross checks its native apps to be as helpful as possible. This means that any events you have saved in your calendar will trigger a traffic notification via Apple Maps. It’ll give you the event time and location while telling you when to leave based on current traffic patterns. This feature could help you avoid showing up late for your next important event.
Highlighted locations are color coded
Apple Maps pinpoints landmarks and highlighted locations for users. And these are color-coded so you know exactly what you’re seeing right away.
For example, restaurants show a fork and knife icon in an orange circle and medical facilities appear as a white-on-red cross. This way, even if a location has a wonky name, you know exactly what it is just by using the color coding.
When you’re in a hurry, there’s nothing worse than hitting unexpected traffic. Apple Maps wants to give you a heads up, and even give you time to change your route. Just go to Settings > Maps and tap the slide for traffic.
Apple Maps currently has options for a 2D and 3D view. Using 3D view gives you a general idea of the neighborhood you’re going to. Although it’s not a 3D view of the actual street, that’s probably going to be here soon. At least that’s what’s expected after seeing a horde of Apple Maps cars zipping around the world.
As if 3D view isn’t enough, Apple Maps also offers a flyover view. Just type in your destination and hit “Flyover Tour.” As the name suggests, it’s a 3D look from up above, as if you’re in a plane flying over the area. It can give you some more insight into a large area that you might not get in 3D mode. But it’s also just super cool to play with.
Make a reservation
Who calls to make a reservation these days? Even for the people who don’t mind picking up the phone, a lot of restaurants only accept online reservations now. Apple Maps includes a link to Open Table so you don’t have to look it up in a separate search. Although you’re still redirected to the Open Table app, it’s still a time saver.
Save a home location
A nifty trick to make things go a little faster is adding your home location to Apple Maps. To do this, you’ll need to update your home address in your iPhone’s contacts card for yourself. After that’s done, “To Home” will always appear when you open up the app before you search for a location. This way, you don’t have to waste your time constantly typing in your home address.
If you don’t know a lot about a museum you’re visiting with friends and don’t want to look like a dingus, let Apple Maps lend a hand. After you type in a location, scroll down and you’ll see a Wikipedia summary of what you should know. This can really help out in a pickle. But remember, not everything on Wikipedia is true.
Using the Route Card on Apple Maps can save you a ton of hassle. It’s around to help you find nearby places, like gas stations and coffee shops. You can even add these locations to your route as detours.
To do this, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and choose which option you need to see nearby locations. Once you choose one, Apple Maps will account for time added on to your trip. When you’ve reached your detour, just hit “End” and resume on your original route.
Even though I’m currently in New York City, Apple Maps will tell me weather of any place I look up. In the screenshot above, you’ll see a little box on the right side of the screen that shows it was 83 degrees and cloudy at Camp Randall Stadium when I did this search. And this works for any location.
It’s super neat, but if you’re planning a long trip be sure to actually look up the extended forecast — we all know weather can change in the blink of an eye.
If you’ve never been to a place before, there’s always some doubt as to if it’ll live up to your expectations. Apple Maps doesn’t want to see you disappointed upon arrival, so it includes Yelp reviews in the app. Just scroll down after typing in your destination and all the reviews will be there waiting for you. You can even initiate your own review from here.
A lot more companies are accepting Apple Pay these days. And it’s a huge convenience for those who use it. So you’d probably want to know if the burger joint your heading to accepts Apple Pay before you show up.
Apple Maps does just that. After you’ve searched for the place, scroll down below the general business information. You’ll see a section called “Useful to Know” and if it lists Apple Pay there, you’re good to go. This section will also give you details like if you can put in a reservation or order out for delivery.
While this is currently on the app, Apple Maps will introduce lane guidance with the upcoming iOS 11 that is set to go live this fall. This could be the final differentiator between Apple Maps and Google Maps. So give it when the new iOS rolls out, and then you can make your final decision.
Now that you know all that Apple Maps has to offer, go re-download and give it a fair shot. It’s finally giving Google Maps a run for its money.
What’s your favorite feature of Apple Maps? Tell us in the comments below!
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